Thursday, June 16, 2022
Thursday, June 16, 2022
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Does Physical Therapy Help Parkinson’s Disease



Should I Talk To My Healthcare Provider Before I Start Exercising If I Have Parksinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s Patients Learn Power of Exercise

Talk to your neurologist and your primary care provider before starting a new exercise regimen. They can:

  • Counsel you on how intense your exercises can be.
  • Recommend exercises appropriate for your individual health.
  • Refer you to a physical therapist to create a personal exercise program.
  • Warn about exercises to avoid based on your particular challenges or limitations.

Where Can I Find Support If I Have Parkinson’s Disease And Want To Exercise

You can find exercise support in your community. For example, many gyms and community centers offer seated exercise classes for people who struggle with balance. Ask your healthcare provider for ideas if you have Parkinson’s disease and want to exercise.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Exercise is an important part of managing Parkinson’s disease. Talk to your healthcare provider about your exercise program and choose activities you enjoy so you stay motivated to get up and move every day.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/08/2021.

References

Target The Cause Of Parkinsons Symptoms With Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery

As a surgical procedure that gives you control over your symptoms, Deep Brain Stimulation targets the specific portions of your brain responsible for Parkinson’s. During the procedure, Dr. Dalvi inserts medical leads that stimulate the targeted area of the brain. After the procedure, you can control your symptoms using an amazing device similar to a remote control.

Deep Brain Stimulation surgery successfully reduces tremors and improves medication responsiveness for many patients, even those who can’t find relief with the most popular medications. While it is not a cure, it is a way of setting back the clock on the disease. This treatment can be adjusted as your condition develops or may be removed when a cure is found. Find out more about Deep Brain Stimulation by watching the video on this page.

Evidence Supporting The Efficacy Of Physical Therapy For Gait Disorders

A previous systematic review of therapies for PD57 has been published, and Kwakkel et al58 published a subsequent critical review of the literature on physical therapy for PD. The systematic review produced equivocal results, having been performed at a time when few controlled trials of physical therapy for PD had been published. The review by Kwakkel et al58 identified 23 randomized controlled trials investigating the effects of physical therapy on function in people with PD. Only 3 of these studies targeted gait disorders.10,59,60 An additional 6 studies measured gait- and mobility-related outcomes from programs directed toward improving posture and balance.25,55,6164 These studies were of moderate methodological quality and demonstrated some benefits of physical therapy for gait and mobility. The interventions tested and outcome measures used varied markedly, making between-study comparisons difficult. Interventions included cueing, mental rehearsal, exercises, and cycling. As suggested by Kwakkel et al,58 the quality of physical therapy research in PD has improved in the last decade, yet gaps in the evidence base for specific interventions remain.

What Kind Of Exercise Can I Do If I Have Trouble Standing Or Walking

We Treat Parkinson

Even with advanced Parkinson’s symptoms, you can still reap the benefits of some activities. If you have trouble walking or balancing, hold a bar or rail to exercise and stretch. If standing or getting up is tough, exercise and stretch in a chair or bed. Physical exercise performed in a seated position, such as biking on a recumbent bike can allow you to exert yourself in a safe manner.

Facial exercises may help combat difficulties speaking or swallowing:

  • Chew your food longer and more vigorously.
  • Exaggerate your face and lip movements when you speak.
  • Make faces in the mirror.
  • Sing or read out loud.

Mental exercises give your brain a workout and can improve memory. For example:

  • Name as many animals as you can in 1 minute.
  • Play brain games and do puzzles.
  • Solve math problems in your head.

You can also add activity in small bits throughout your day:

  • Park further away from stores so you walk longer distances.
  • Stretch or do leg exercises while watching TV.
  • Swing your arms more when you walk, and take long strides.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

Difficulties In Diagnosing Depression In Patients With Parkinson’s

  • Certain symptoms of depression overlap with symptoms of PD ? for example, sleep problems and feeling slowed down occur in both conditions.
  • Some experts think that depression in PD often involves frequent, shorter changes in mood versus a constant state of sadness daily.
  • Many people with PD express less emotion due to the effect the disease has on the muscles of the face. This symptom, called facial masking, makes a person unable to express emotion through facial expressions.
  • Many people with Parkinson’s do not seek treatment because they often do not recognize they have a mood problem or are unable to explain symptoms. For these reasons, it is helpful to ask a caregiver or loved one if he or she has noticed any changes commonly reported in depression.

How To Find Your Expert Physical Therapist For Parkinsons Disease

It is important to find a physical therapist who has specialty training and experience working with PD. You may find experienced physical therapists working in hospital outpatient departments, home health agencies, nursing homes or within the community close to your home. Ask your neurologist for a referral at your next appointment.

The Parkinson’s Foundation Helpline at 1-800- 4PD-INFO can help you locate an experienced physical therapist near you who is trained to work with people with PD, and provide questions to ask a potential physical therapist to assess their experience.

Stay Active To Improve Your Overall Health With Physical Therapy

The third aspect of our comprehensive therapy for Parkinson’s disease includes physical therapy and exercise to improve your strength and flexibility. Improving your body’s health can help you maintain mobility and avoid falling accidents. This essential part of your overall health helps to reduce your physical symptoms of Parkinson’s and relieve pain.

How Does Physical Therapy Help Patients With Parkinsons Disease

Intensive therapy programs help treat Parkinson

People with neuromuscular conditions such as Parkinson’s disease often find physical therapy can improve strength and flexibility, and decrease pain and stiffness. It is part of an array of Parkinson’s Disease treatments.

It is common with Parkinson’s Disease to experience smaller movements or be told by others of these smaller movements. Physical therapy can work on your effort and amplitude of movement to improve your function with activities and increase your level of independence.

As we learn more about how beneficial exercise is to people with Parkinson’s disease through research, physical therapy is becoming an essential part of treatment plans for this population.

Dr. Neiswinter and his team will help you develop an exercise routine that is right for you. The team at Individual Physical Therapy can also help address certain symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease such as dystonia, freezing episodes, and gait instability.

Learn more about physical therapy treatments to improve joint paint by calling Individual Physical Therapy or using the online booking feature.

What Type Of Exercise Should I Do If I Have Parkinson’s Disease

Exercise is a planned, structured, repetitive activity that is intended to improve physical fitness. There is no “right” exercise for people with Parkinson’s. Everyone’s regimen will differ, depending on overall health, symptoms and previous level of activity. Any exercise helps, and a variety of exercise types may provide well-rounded benefits.

Aerobic exercise

Aerobic exercise involves activities that challenge your cardiorespiratory system such as walking, biking, running, and activities in the pool. Participating in aerobic exercise at least three days a week for 30-40 minutes may slow Parkinson’s decline.

Strength training

Strength training involves using your body weight or other tools to build muscle mass and strength. Strength training two days per week, starting with low repetition and weight, may be beneficial in Parkinson’s disease. A focus on extensor muscles, or muscles in the back of the body, can help with posture.

Flexibility training

Stretching two or more days per week can be beneficial to maintain range of motion and posture. Holding each stretch of major muscle groups for 30 to 60 seconds can improve muscle length.

Balance and agility training

This type of training often combines aerobic exercise, strength training, and flexibility training. Examples include:

  • Dancing.
  • Tai chi, yoga or Pilates.

Differences Between Physical Therapy And Occupational Therapy

While physical therapy and occupational therapy may be seen as interchangeable, there are some differences between the 2 practices. PT focuses on the physical rehabilitation of people recovering from injuries or disease. The goal of PT is to restore mobility. Physical therapists also educate people on managing their condition to maintain long-term benefits.3

OT also deals with rehabilitation and motion. However, it is focused more on enabling the person to engage in daily activities as seamlessly as possible. Occupational therapists also suggest adaptations and modifications to the person’s environment.3

Physical therapists focus primarily on anatomy and the person’s strength, functional capacity, and motor development. Occupational therapists combine physical aspects with mental health. They design exercises that teach people coping and management skills within their limits.3

Occupational Therapy Modifications For People With Parkinsons

Along with physical exercises, occupational therapists often recommend modifications to help people living with PD maintain function and continue participating in daily activities. Modifications may include:1

  • Changing the nature, time, and duration of an activity
  • Simplifying activities by breaking complex actions into simple tasks
  • Arranging items to reduce situations that involve time pressure, like moving the telephone to an accessible location

How Can Physiotherapy Benefit Those With Parkinsons Disease

Exercise therapy helping patients with Parkinson

Apart from medication and surgical procedures, it has been established that physical therapy for Parkinson’s disease yields great results. Physiotherapy can benefit a patient suffering from Parkinson’s in resisting the regressive changes that follow this disease and in recovering from it.

Physiotherapy can have many positive effects on patients with Parkinson’s disease:

What Doesnt Medicare Cover For Parkinsons Disease Treatment

Unfortunately, Medicare doesn’t cover everything you may think is medically necessary. These services include nonmedical custodial care for daily living activities, such as dressing, bathing, and cooking. Medicare also doesn’t cover long-term care or around-the-clock care.

Devices that might make life easier at home are not always covered. These include items such as a walk-in bathtub or stair lift.

Training Future Physical Therapists In Parkinsons Disease

Did you know the Parkinson’s Foundation is working to better educate physical therapy students across the country to ensure better PD care for everyone?

The Parkinson’s Foundation Physical Therapy Faculty Program is improving Parkinson’s physical therapy care by training faculty leaders across the U.S. so they can, in turn, educate physical therapy students. The intensive course allows physical therapy educators to immerse themselves in learning the latest evidence-based findings in Parkinson’s research and care. Physical therapy educators can make a great impact on the lives of people with PD by bringing this knowledge back to their students, our future practitioners.

Are There Any Risks Of Exercising With Parkinsons Disease

Some symptoms, like Parkinson’s tremors, may seem worse during exercise. But exercise generally improves tremors and other symptoms in the long run.

Reduce challenges by stretching before and after exercise. Use good form to prevent injury. And avoid slippery floors, poor lighting and tripping hazards. If you have pain, stop and rest.

Pushing yourself too hard during exercise can lead to injury. Start slowly and increase intensity and duration over time. Keep a log to track your exercise choices and how you feel. Eventually, you’ll learn what works best for you.

If I Exercise Will I Still Need My Parkinsons Medications

How to Help Parkinson

Some people find that exercise helps them reduce the doses of Parkinson’s medications over time. But exercise is not a replacement for your medications. In fact, some people need more medications so they can stay active. Don’t make changes to your medications without talking to your healthcare providers.

Physical And Occupational Therapy For Parkinsons Disease

As PD progresses, most people experience worsening of their motor skills. This includes difficulties with posture, balance, and walking. Worsening motor skills can lead to:4

  • Loss of independence
  • Fear of falling
  • Increased social isolation

PT and/or OT are often used along with drugs for people with PD who are experiencing limitations in their activities. This can include things like personal care, work, and leisure activities. These therapies may also be recommended when the caregiver of the person with PD is having difficulties supervising or supporting the person with PD during daily activities.1

How Hard Should I Exercise If I Have Parkinson’s Disease

A rating of perceived exertion is a good way to measure intensity. On a scale from 0 to 10, 0 would be how you feel while sitting or lying down, while 10 would be the maximum effort you can give. Building up to an effort between 5 to 8 means you are exercising at a high intensity. A good gauge is, if you can have a conversation with someone while exercising, you should probably increase your intensity.

How Physical Therapy Can Help Manage Parkinsons Disease

The recent news that Rev. Jesse Jackson that he has Parkinson‘s disease raised focus again on an important connection: Physical Therapy.

Wrote Jackson: “For me, a Parkinson’s diagnosis is not a stop sign but rather a signal that I must make lifestyle changes and dedicate myself to physical therapy in hopes of slowing the disease’s progression.”

How does physical therapy help Parkinson’s Disease?

As WebMD notes: “Physical therapy cannot cure Parkinson’s disease, because at this time, neurological damage cannot be reversed. But therapy can help you compensate for the changes brought about by the condition. These ‘compensatory treatments,’ as they’re called, include learning about new movement techniques, strategies, and equipment. A physical therapist can teach you exercises to strengthen and loosen muscles. Many of these exercises can be performed at home. The goal of physical therapy is to improve your independence and quality of life by improving movement and function and relieving pain.”

The post further notes that physical therapy can help with:

  • Balance problems
  • Immobility
  • Weakness

The American Physical Therapy Association notes: “Depending on the nature and severity of your condition, your treatment program may focus on activities and education to help you:”

How Patients Are Using Cycling To Slow Down Parkinson’s

Physical Therapy Guide to Parkinson Disease

Parkinson’s symptoms include tremor, rigid muscles and problems with movement. While early treatment can delay the worst symptoms, people almost always get worse. About 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease each year and about a million Americans have Parkinson’s now.

No medical therapy can cure Parkinson’s and while exercise was always shown to help people feel better, it was not generally accepted as a true therapy until recently.

Now teams are trying to find out how much exercise helps and just which symptoms it affects. Doctors say they’d be thrilled just to slow the inevitable worsening of the disease and if they can freeze progression or reverse symptoms, that would be a home run.

Corcos and colleagues say the most intense exercise appears to have at least temporarily frozen symptoms in many of their volunteers.

“The earlier in the disease you intervene, the more likely it is you can prevent the progression of the disease,” Corcos said in a statement.

“We delayed worsening of symptoms for six months,” he added. “Whether we can prevent progression any longer than six months will require further study.”

Related: Walking Helps Parkinson’s

They worked with 128 patients with early stage Parkinson’s. They randomly assigned them to either moderate exercise four days a week, intense exercise four days a week, or no additional exercise.

“This is not mild stretching. This is high intensity,” Corcos said.

Related: Gut germs affect Parkinson’s

How Does Physical Activity Benefit Parkinsons Patients

Leading an active lifestyle is beneficial for people of all ages and protects against chronic conditions like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, osteoporosis and even dementia. If a senior is not already an active person in their daily life, it is never too late to start. Some of the preventive benefits may not be as strong for those beginning an exercise regimen later in life, but doing so can still have immediate effects like improving sleep, reducing feelings of anxiety and lowering blood pressure.

For elders with Parkinson’s disease , frequent exercise is vital. PD is a progressive neurodegenerative condition that mainly affects movement but can cause mental and behavioral changes as well. Although the exact cause is still unclear, PD occurs when neurons in areas of the brain that regulate movement are damaged or die. Primary physical symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include rigidity, resting tremor, bradykinesia , akinesia , and balance problems, all of which can increase a patient’s fall risk and cause difficulties with activities of daily living . Non-motor symptoms include fluctuations in blood pressure, digestive issues and fatigue.

How Can Occupational Therapy Help Parkinson’s Disease

For Parkinson’s disease, occupational therapy generally provides assessment, treatment, and recommendations in the following areas:

  • Arm and hand therapy
  • Driver evaluation and vehicle modification information
  • Cooking and homemaking adaptations
  • Ways to make the most of your energy
  • Computer modifications
  • Workplace or work equipment modifications
  • Leisure skill development

What Are The Treatment Options For Parkinsons Disease

When a person suffers from Parkinson’s disease, the nerve cells fail to produce enough dopamine to send signals to the brain to control conscious and unconscious actions. The condition gets progressively worse over time.

However, there are means through which one could reduce the impact of this condition to a certain extent. Such treatment options include medication, surgery, and physical therapy.

Medication

As the symptoms such as tremors, muscle stiffness, and walking issues start to appear, doctors may prescribe certain commonly regarded medications such as Levodopa, MAO B Inhibitors, Dopamine Agonists and Antivirals.

These medicines are, however, more useful at the initial stages of the disease. After time elapses, these medications start to lose the effectiveness they had at earlier stages.

The prescription and dosage depend on the severity of the condition.

Surgical Procedures

In the case of Parkinson’s disease, a surgical procedure known as “Deep Brain Stimulation” has provided patients with good results.

A wire is placed inside of the patient’s brain and helps the brain more effectively receive electrical signals. If effective, this improves the functioning power of the brain.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can help patients deal with the effects of Parkinson’s disease. Specially designed exercises such as breathing, stretching, rhythmic, static and dynamic exercises are implemented to relieve some of the pain experienced by the patient.

Parkinsons Clinical Signs Diagnosis And Rating Scales

Intensive therapy programs help treat Parkinson

The three clinical motor cardinal signs of PD, a-/hypo-/bradykinesia, rest tremor, and rigidity, are directly related to the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons. However, other motor symptoms and signs, secondary to degeneration of nondopaminergic pathways, can be described such as loss of postural control, postural stability/balance, and gait disturbance. In addition, the most well-known nonmotor characteristic motor symptoms have also been described. There can be additional psychiatric and autonomic features found, as well as cognitive impairment, sleep disorders, olfactory dysfunction, and pain.

Benefits Of Physical Therapy For Parkinson’s Disease

Here are some ways that getting physical therapy for PD can improve your quality of life:  

Balance work – Individuals with PD can struggle with balance issues. A physical therapist will offer a variety of balance improvement exercises that help strengthen the muscles, build muscle memory in the brain, and teach you ways to compensate for any loss of motor function.

Flexibility work – It is prevalent for those with PD to develop tight hip flexors, hamstring stiffness, and tight calf muscles. Tight muscles can make already difficult tasks for those with PD even more of a challenge for the body to perform. This is mainly due to the body not being able to move the same way it used to and compensating for painful or weakened areas. Physical therapists will work with you to gently stretch muscles throughout the body and give you easy stretches to do at home to remain loose and limber.

Muscle Strength work – Muscles naturally weaken with age, but even more so in someone with PD. Strength training is vital to slow the progression of PD as well as give your body more stability to perform everyday tasks. A physical therapist will provide you with exercises that integrate light weights or resistance bands to gently strengthen the muscles.

What To Expect From Physical Therapy For Parkinsons

We offer physical therapy for Parkinson’s disease patients to help:

  • Increase strength, endurance, movement and control
  • Improve flexibility, gait and balance
  • Address freezing and fall prevention
  • Develop a daily exercise regimen to keep a person mobile
  • Customize a home exercise program to improve mobility problems and prevent or reduce the impact of future anticipated problems
  • Educate and involve the caregiver to help at home with functional activities such as bathtub transfers, getting in/out of chair or bed
  • Educate the patient and caregiver and implement adopted LSVT Big exercises

How Does Physical Therapy Help Parkinson’s Disease

Physical therapy cannot cure Parkinson’s disease, because at this time, neurological damage cannot be reversed. But therapy can help you compensate for the changes brought about by the condition. These “compensatory treatments,” as they’re called, include learning about new movement techniques, strategies, and equipment. A physical therapist can teach you exercises to strengthen and loosen muscles. Many of these exercises can be performed at home. The goal of physical therapy is to improve your independence and quality of life by improving movement and function and relieving pain.

Physical therapy can help with:

  • Balance problems
  • Immobility
  • Weakness

Important note: Some physical therapists may apply diathermy to relieve muscle aches and pains. This could be dangerous to patients who have deep brain stimulators.

Explore Different Types Of Exercise For Parkinsons

How to Get the Most Out of Physical Therapy for Parkinson ...

There are countless forms of physical activity out there, and finding one that fits a Parkinson’s patient’s unique needs and abilities may be difficult, depending on the severity of their symptoms. In some cases, seemingly impossible activities like dancing or riding a bicycle are feasible for seniors with PD who struggle to even walk. Proceed with caution, though, and always consult a physician before starting a new exercise regimen.

The Parkinson’s Foundation offers the following examples of exercises for Parkinson’s disease:

  • Intensive sports training
  • Treadmill training with body weight support
  • Resistance training
  • Alternative forms of exercise
  • Home-based exercise
  • Stretching
  • Practice of movement strategies

Incorporating elements of yoga, Pilates, tai chi, dancing or boxing can improve core strength and balance and facilitate rotational movement to combat rigidity. While any kind of movement is beneficial, there are specialized programs designed to address the challenges that PD patients face. One such program is the LSVT BIG Treatment—an exercise treatment program for people with PD based on the principle that the brain can learn and change .

Physical Therapy Strategies For Parkinsons Disease

PT can improve daily functioning for people living with PD by:4

  • Improving gait, or the way a person walks
  • Improving transfers, like going from stillness to activity
  • Improving balance
  • Strengthening joints and muscles to improve physical capacity

One of the ways physical therapists help improve gait is through the use of cues. Cues are stimuli from the environment or generated by the person that they can use to facilitate repetitive movements, like walking. Cues can be:4

  • Auditory, like using a metronome or music
  • Visual, such as stepping over stripes on the floor
  • Tactile, like tapping on the hip or leg
  • Cognitive, like using a mental image of the length of a step

What Are The Common Symptoms Of Parkinsons Disease

Symptoms can start with barely noticeable issues such as a tremor in one hand, impaired balance, or shorter steps when walking. Tremors are commonly seen in those diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease; however, there are other characteristic symptoms. Additional symptoms include forward head or leaning trunk posture, feelings of stiffness, slowing of movement which can include shuffling when walking, and impaired balance – all of which can lead to a higher risk of falls.

Getting The Most Out Of Physiotherapy Appointments

Your physiotherapist will assess your mobility, and specifically if you have difficulties with walking, transfers, balance and falls, your manual dexterity and your physical capacity, and why these problems occur. He or she may assess your ability to perform activities of daily living. This may take one or two appointments and your physiotherapist may want to assess you at home if problems mainly occur there.

Your physiotherapist, with your input, will set goals according to your specific needs and jointly you will agree a treatment plan. Generally this will be a combination of advice and education, plus an exercise programme and strategies to better manage your daily activities. When and how often you see your physiotherapist will depend on your individual goals and treatment plan.

Neurological Care At Good Samaritan Medical Center

How Does Physical Therapy Help Parkinson

Serving the Palm Beach County community for almost a century, Good Samaritan Medical Center, a Tenet hospital, provides exceptional care for those in our community. The facility boasts cutting-edge medical technology for advanced treatments, 333-beds for acute care, 24-hour emergency care, outpatient diagnostic and surgical services and compassionate patient care.

What Other Services Does Physical Therapy Provide

Recommendations. A physical therapist can make recommendations for physical therapy at home, at an outpatient facility, or at a nursing or rehabilitation facility.

Work capacity evaluations. Many physical therapists can perform functional capacity evaluations to provide more information for disability claims based on physical performance. This functional capacity evaluation can be useful when the Social Security office denies disability to a person who is unable to work for an eight-hour day.

Physical Therapy Exercises For Parkinsons Disease

It is common for Parkinson’s patients to completely give up exercising due to the pain involved in moving muscles and joints. Unfortunately, doing so actually worsens the pain. Thus, patients are stuck in a vicious cycle of avoiding exercise to avoid pain but actually causing more pain by not exercising.

Parkinson’s disease makes it difficult for patients to perform complex motor programs. However, the loss of automatic response in patients can be countered with exercises that demand attention, repetition, progression of difficulty and promote learning.

Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease get worse over time but physical therapy can help to make them more manageable. A trained physiotherapist will develop an exercise program to help patients handle day-to-day chores and activities as well as address balance issues, lack of coordination, fatigue, pain, gait, posture, immobility and weakness.

A physical therapy plan for a patient with Parkinson’s disease involves a combination of exercises that promote posture, biomechanics, increased strength and flexibility and stimulates cognitive abilities in patients.

Here are some examples of exercises a physiotherapist may develop to help a patient with Parkinson’s disease:

How Does Physical Therapy Help Parkinsons Disease

April is Parkinson’s Awareness month and as a clinic, we are trying to make a difference by raising awareness about this condition. Parkinson’s disease is a progressive, degenerative clinical condition that worsens over time. Typical symptoms include tremors, loss of facial expression, stiffness, slowing down of movement and a multitude of other problems.

In the past few years, there have been significant developments in the understanding of Parkinson’s disease. Muhammad Ali, the legendary boxer, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1984 at the age of 42 and is currently unable to speak in public as a direct result of this condition. The actor Michael J Fox is another well-known celebrity struggling with Parkinson’s. These high profile cases have helped raise awareness. Treatment includes a combination of medication, diet, exercise, lifestyle modifications, counseling and participation in support groups.

Types Of Physical Therapy For Parkinson’s Disease

Physical Therapy Exercises For Parkinsons Disease

 

Parkinson’s disease is a nervous system disorder that affects over 1 million Americans. This disease involves the part of the brain that controls movement. The main symptoms include tremors, muscle rigidity and difficulty with coordination, balance and walking.

Although there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, various treatments can relieve symptoms and help patients maintain their quality of life. Physical therapy is one form of treatment known to help individuals with Parkinson’s disease increase mobility, strengthen their muscles, improve coordination and balance, and ultimately, remain independent. This post explores the different types of physical therapy and how to make the most of a rehabilitation program.

How Can Physical Therapy Help Parkinson’s Disease

Physical therapy is an important part of a treatment plan for Parkinson’s disease. It aims to help individuals with Parkinson’s disease remain active and independent as long as possible. According to a recent meta-analysis, physical therapy significantly improves symptoms related to motor skills. The Parkinson’s Foundation states that increasing physical activity to 2.5 hours a week or more can help people with Parkinson’s disease maintain their quality of life.

Overall, physical therapy can help with the following:

  • Increasing endurance
  • Decreasing falls
  • Reducing pain

Because physical therapy improves motor skills and decreases pain, you can expect it to help with many of your regular activities, such as getting up from a chair, climbing stairs and getting into and out of a car.

Physical therapy can also improve other symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease, such as depression, anxiety and fatigue. Lastly, it can help with other health issues that impair mobility, like joint pain.

Doctors recommend beginning an evidence-based physical therapy program as soon as possible. Exercise can induce neuroplasticity, or the brain’s ability to change in response to behavioral changes. When you begin physical therapy, your brain learns new ways to move and think. Exercise also helps brain cells stay healthy. In other words, physical therapy may slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease.


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